Size-Dependent Submerging of Nanoparticles in Polymer Melts: Effect of Line Tension

Shanqiu Liu, Anupam Pandey, Joost Duvigneau, Julius Vancso, Jacco H. Snoeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adhesion of nanoparticles to polymer films plays a key role in various polymer technologies. Here we report experiments that reveal how silica nanoparticles adhere to a viscoelastic PMMA film above the glass transition temperature. The polymer was swollen with CO2, closely matching the conditions of nanoparticle-nucleated polymer foaming. It is found that the degree by which the particles sink into the viscoelastic substrate is strongly size dependent and can even lead to complete engulfment for particles of diameter below 12 nm. These findings are explained quantitatively by a thermodynamic analysis, combining elasticity, capillary adhesion, and line tension. We argue that line tension, here proposed for the first time in elastic media, is responsible for the nanoparticle engulfment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2411-2417
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecules
Volume51
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Size-Dependent Submerging of Nanoparticles in Polymer Melts: Effect of Line Tension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this